10 iron-rich foods for pregnancy

Iron rich foods for pregnancy

Iron is a mineral that makes up an important part of hemoglobin, the substance in blood that carries oxygen throughout the body. Iron also carries oxygen in muscles, helping them function properly.

Here are 10 iron-rich foods you should be eating

  1. Spinach and other green leafy vegetables- 1/2 cup of cooked spinach contains 3.2 mg of iron and includes other important minerals and vitamins including folate, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and calcium.
  2. Iron-fortified cereals – Offer up to 21.1 mg of iron per serving (varies by brand).
  3. Beef and other red meat – Each serving contains 2.5 – 3 mg of iron. Animal sources of iron – heme iron is much more easily absorbed into your blood than plant sources.
  4. Prunes and dates – Containing 1.2 mg per 100 g serving, prunes are a great source of iron because they’re super high in fiber too, fighting constipation.
  5. Potato – In addition to being fat-free and cholesterol-free, high in potassium and calcium, each potato packs in 2.7 mg of iron.
  6. White beans (batana) – ½ cup of cooked beans gives 3.9 mg of iron!
  7. Soyabean – It’s the complete protein delivering 2.6 mg of iron per serving to boot. It really is perfect.
  8. Nuts – Every 30 g of mixed nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts) can deliver up to 2 mg of iron.
  9. Pumpkin seeds and chia seeds – Sprinkle on cereal or other foods for a tasty crunch that packs 2 mg per serving of iron too.
  10. Eggs – Every 100 g of boiled egg delivers 1.2 mg of iron – an easy way to get the kick start in the morning with breakfast.

You’ll likely be taking an iron supplement to meet your daily iron requirements. Try to incorporate as many natural sources you can for good absorption sans constipation.

How can I ensure that my body is absorbing iron?

Vitamin C assists your body in the absorption of iron you consume in your food. Therefore it is important that you take vitamin C rich foods along with your iron rich meals or even supplement your meals with a Vitamin C tablet. This is even more important if you are a vegetarian, because the iron derived from vegetarian sources is not as easily absorbed by the body as the iron from non vegetarian sources.

To ensure consumption of natural vitamin C, sip on nimbu pani or fresh lemonade with your meals. Alternatively squeeze lemon over your salad, dal or even vegetables. A cup of vegetable juice consisting of carrots, beetroots and mint, tomatoes, coriander with a dash of lime is a vitamin c rich option.